The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Friday, January 26, 2007


Cardamom pods are used in chicken soups and meat stews to replace bay leaves. Ground cardamom can be used to replace vanila extract. Use it in cakes, rice pudding and baklava.
We also add this aromatic spice in the tea and ground coffee for a sweet flavor and aroma. It is cheaper to buy the pods from Middle Eastern, Indian and other Asian grocery store. I prefer to grind my own cardamom and keep it in a a tight jar.

Add ground cardamom to tea leaves or ground Turkish coffee and enjoy the flavor.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Arabian Spices البهار العراقي

This spice is also called Syrian Spice or Seven Spices. You can find it at the Middle Eastern markets
½ cup black pepper
1 cup cinnamon sticks (darseen)
1 cup allspice (cababa)
10 pods of cardamoms (hail)
10 cloves (qrinfel)
3 pieces ginger root (zangabeel)
½ cup dried rose petals( optional)
3 nutmegs (joze al taybe)

We used to go to a special bazaar Shourja Market in Baghdad that has many vendors selling spices. We would ask the shop owner to measure these spices and grind them for us. Shop owners do have the Arabian spice already ground, but Mother preferred to have her spices freshly ground. She kept the ground spices in a tight jar.

If you  have ground spices in you kitchen cabinet, you can just mix 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons allspice and keep the mixture in a tight jar. These  are the three major ingredients that you can add to your meat and vegetable dishes.